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Upcoming Releases Disclosed by the Government Subsidies / Recent Online Concerts / GMA

Upcoming Releases Disclosed by the Government Subsidies / Recent Online Concerts / GMA
By Taiwan Beats • Issue #4 • View online

Spoiler alert: upcoming releases disclosed by the government subsidies
As COVID-19 has struck the world for a year and half, artists struggle with no live performances but to find solutions over livestreaming and other possibilities. In the meantime, more musicians turn to what they do best: stay home, write more songs.
As the island face its pandemic outbreak in May, more and more Taiwanese artists cancelled their gigs and tour while telling their fans that they will work on new albums and come back to the stage as soon as possible. For the music lovers, other than following the social network of the bands, they can also check on the lists of the subsidies put out last month. Each year around mid-June, the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, Ministry of Culture, reveals the recipients of a series of music-related government subsidies. According to the Bureau, the goal is to amplify the production energy of Taiwanese music industry and to improve the quality of music production so that Taiwanese pop music can compete among the global market.
The two subsidies most relevant to indie artists are Original EPs/Albums Made by Bands and Recording and Production Upgrade. As more and more newly developed bands tend to apply for the subsidies as part of their business plan when recording new albums and benefit from these timely supports, the announcement of the subsidies can be seemed as spoiler alerts for the upcoming new releases.
Original EPs/Albums Made by Bands are literally sorted between album and EPs. This year, the album subsidies go to bands that have already make a stand and are marching toward a bigger success, such as WANLONG, Bob Is Tired, and DIZLIKE. Interestingly, veteran bands like Bugs of Phonon, So What, and The Shine&Shine&Shine&Shine, who have been in hiatus for years, also applied for the subsidies. The long-waiting fans and indie scene involvers are thrilled to see these joyful spoiler alerts and ready to welcome back the seniors. 
As for EPs, newly acts that have grab some attention but haven’t release any formal recordings such as Blueburn and COLD DEW earn a chance to prove themselves to wider audiences.
For Recording and Production Upgrade, well-developed bands like Amazing Show and Elephant Gym alongside with hip-hop artists such as Marz23 are all on the list as they continued to work their music career out in micro entrepreneur ways.
Recent online concerts in Taiwan
As a late starter, Taiwanese music scene hasn’t done much with online or even livestreaming concerts since the island was internationally renowned for its agile and effective pandemic response throughout 2020. The live music industry was only stumbling a little and most of the venues can still held IRL gigs with full capacity.
Since this May when more and more pandemic cases were found, online concerts has become an urge for most of the music events were called off. There have been several delicate showcases this year including Taiwan Beats Showcase at SXSW Online 2021 and LUC UP! showcase by LucFest for Primavera Pro 2021, but all of them are pre-recorded. Livestreaming performances are still mostly held in bedroom lo-fi style for bands to connect with their fans.
Recently, some interesting online music projects have been planned out. The General Association of Chinese Culture, alongside with record label Taiwan Colors Music (TCM), curated Give Strength, a series of livestreaming shows held every Friday this July and August. This series of events are dedicated to the medical personnel who have been working relentlessly to control the COVID-19 outbreak. The lineup includes award-winning diva Wanfang to electronic duo April Red. The set is usually simple, unplugged with an acoustic guitar and a dim lamp light in the corner, in order to create a soothing vibe in the struggling time of the pandemic when you are not able to go out much.
Kaohsiung Music Center held Make a Pinky Swear, See You Again! on 31st July, a livestreaming event specially delivered to the graduate students since this year’s graduate season undergoes without any physical ceremonies or parties. The line-up consists of KatnCandix2, MIXER, Yo Lee, and Accusefive. The event was broadcasted by Yahoo TV, LINE TODAY, YouTube, and so on.
The poster of Make a Pinky Swear, See You Again!
The poster of Make a Pinky Swear, See You Again!
According to livestreaming platform Sessions co-founder Tim Westergren, numerous livestreaming events were played out in 2020 but most of them weren’t profitable due to low audience view and lack of promotion. With COVID-19 still linger around the world, the second stage of livestreaming which Taiwanese music has join the rest of the world, will need to be more precise in gig-planning and finding target audiences. 
Last but not least…
The 32nd Golden Melody Awards & Festival, the biggest annual music event of the Chinese-speaking world, will be held on Aug 21. Follow our social media accounts for the latest news in English and Japanese.
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